In “What To Read This Week,” CHALK editor Taylor Worden suggests novels, poetry, articles and other forms of writing, often centering around a timely topic or theme. This week, Worden suggests books to read if you loved their Netflix adaption.
Oftentimes when choosing between a book or a movie to de-stress, the choice is clear: Where’s the remote? But if you need a break from watching your favorite show again — or if you want to read something you know you’re going to like — try picking up the book that inspired your favorite show.
Here are a few recommendations of books to check out if you loved the television shows they spawned, but want to see the story in its original glory.
'The Haunting of Hill House' by Shirley Jackson
Netflix’s adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel takes the same haunted house and completely re-imagines it in a modern context. If the story of the Crain family and the haunted house that plagues them kept you up for days, Jackson’s novel is bound to send the same shivers up your spine.
In Jackson’s “The Haunting of Hill House,” the reader follows a trio of characters as they are invited to stay at Hill House as part of an experiment by a researching doctor. The longer the characters stay in the house, the more their sanity begins to wane. With different characters but the same devilish house, Jackson’s “The Haunting of Hill House” provides the same fears and suspense with its original plot that has spawned numerous remakes.
'Mindhunter' by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker
If you loved Netflix’s true-crime, psychological thriller “Mindhunter” but left wanting even more details on the FBI agents’ exploits, the book the show was adapted from is packed with information. The show changes some aspects such as the agents’ names and takes a few artistic liberties, but the general focus of the show is directly based off of the book. The book, originally published in 1995, was a nonfiction work written by two retired FBI agents: John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker.
The two authors were part of the FBI’s serial crime unit, and spent their careers hunting notorious serial killers and subsequently furthering serial killer psychology through their research. As the show explores, the two agents were integral in solving various prominent cases and interviewed even more infamous serial killers including Dennis Rader, Edmund Kemper and Charles Manson.
While the show does a bone-chilling job of creating suspense, the book offers a plethora of details for the hard-core true-crime lovers.
'The End of the F***ing World' by Charles Forsman
This Netflix original takes Charles Forsman’s 2011 graphic novel to expand upon and change aspects of the story of the two central characters: James and Alyssa.
The novel follows James and Alyssa—two lonely, outcast teenagers with hidden secrets and resentments — as they run away together and fall in love along the way. While the Netflix adaptation maintains a consistent and unique visual style, the novel employs beautiful yet simplistic illustration to tell the story of the two teenagers as they attempt to escape their trapped, mundane lives together.
Although Netflix maintains aspects of Forsman’s dark themes in their original series, parts of the show have been significantly changed, including the ending of the first season. If you loved the story of James and Alyssa but want a slightly darker and original tale, check out Forsman’s graphic novel.